A new report from the U.S. Dept. of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) provides national data collected from degree-granting postsecondary institutions about students with disabilities, the services and accommodations provided to these students, and various aspects of institutional accessibility.
The report, Students With Disabilities at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions, provides findings from self-reported data from postsecondary institutions about the number of students with disabilities and the services and accommodations provided to students with disabilities for the 2008–09 academic year. Information about students with disabilities in the report represents only those students who had identified themselves in some way to the institution as having a disability.
Selected finding from the study include:
88% of 2-year and 4-year degree-granting postsecondary institutions (public and private) reported enrolling students with disabilities. Almost all public 2- and 4-year institutions reported enrolling students with disabilities.
86% reported enrolling students with specific learning disabilities (SLD); 94 % of public 2-year institutions and 97 % of public 4-year institutions reported serving students with SLD while significantly fewer private 2- and 4-year institutions reported enrolling students with disabilities, including SLD.
31% of enrolled students with disabilities had SLD, by far the largest disability category (see chart below).
Disclosure and Documentation
79% of institutions reported distributing materials designed to encourage students with disabilities to identify themselves to the institution and most institutions (92%) provided one-on-one discussions when requested to assist faculty and staff in working with students with disabilities.
92% of institutions reported that they require verification of student disabilities for some purpose.
44% accepted an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and 40% accepted a 504 Plan from a secondary school as sufficient, stand-alone verification.
80% accepted a comprehensive vocational rehabilitation agency evaluation.
Services and Accommodations Most institutions reported providing various services and accommodations to students with disabilities. In general, public 2- and 4-year institutions reported higher rates of provision of such services. Some of the most common services and accommodations include:
Additional exam time (provided by 93% of institutions)
Alternative exam format (71%)
Help with learning strategies or study skills (72%)
Classroom note-takers or scribes (77%)
Faculty-provided written course notes or assignments (72%)